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Aesthet Surg J. 2013 May;33(4):604-8. doi: 10.1177/1090820X13481972. Epub 2013 Mar 12.

Cosmetic surgery growth and correlations with financial indices: a comparative study of the United Kingdom and United States from 2002-2011.

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Mersey Deanery, Liverpool, UK.



Over the past 10 years, there has been significant fluctuation in the yearly growth rates for cosmetic surgery procedures in both the United States and the United Kingdom.


The authors compare cosmetic surgical procedure rates in the United Kingdom and United States with the macroeconomic climate of each region to determine whether there is a direct relationship between cosmetic surgery rates and economic health.


The authors analyzed annual cosmetic surgery statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for 2002-2011 against economic indices from both regions, including the gross domestic product (GDP), consumer prices indices (CPI), and stock market reports.


There was a 285.9% increase in the United Kingdom and a 1.1% increase in the United States in the number of procedures performed between 2002 and 2011. There were significant positive correlations between the number of cosmetic procedures performed in the United Kingdom and both the GDP (r = 0.986, P < .01) and CPI (r = 0.955, P < .01). Analysis of the US growth rates failed to show a significant relationship with any indices. UK interest rates showed a significant negative correlation (r = -0.668, P < .05) with procedures performed, whereas US interest rates showed a significant positive correlation.


Data from the United States and United Kingdom suggest 2 very different growth patterns in the number of cosmetic surgeries being performed as compared with the economy in each region. Economic indices are accurate indicators of numbers of procedures being performed in the United Kingdom, whereas rates in the United States seem independent of those factors.


cosmetic surgery; economy; financial indices; inflation; recession; stock market

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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